How to Monetize Your Blog When You’re a Total Newbie

Gone are the days when blogging was just a place to share your thoughts. Blogs are big money makers, but only for those who monetize them properly.

While blogging isn't a get rich overnight type of thing, there is money in blogging - even for total newbies.

How is it possible, you ask?

I'm here to share with you 8 ways to monetize your blog when you're a total newbie.

Affiliate marketing

The most popular way of monetizing your blog by far is by affiliate marketing?

How does affiliate marketing work?

When someone clicks on an ad from your blog and purchases something, you get paid a commission.

You most likely don’t have anything to sell of your own. You just don’t have the resources to make it happen. So the next best thing to having your own product is selling someone else’s products.

If you have the traffic and can choose the right products to pitch, you can make some good money with affiliate marketing.

What you can sell?

It depends on what your blog is about. If you have a fitness blog, you can sell weight loss supplements. If you have a finance blog you can sell credit card offers. If you have a travel blog you can sell hotel stays and flight tickets.

How much can you make?

Well, this depends entirely on your traffic of course, but also on what you are selling. If you’re selling $15 t-shirts, you might get a $4 per shirt commission fee. If you’re selling high-end handbags worth $1,500 then you might end up making $100 per sale.

Where do I sign up?

Once you sign up, look for products you want to promote and place some relevant ads on your blog.

Google Adsense

Newbie bloggers should look to Google Adsense as their first step in monetizing their blog. It’s a super simple way of placing an ad on your blog and getting paid for every click you generate to the ads.

Ultimately, Google Adsense is not the path to riches. The reason being that there is a middle-man (Google) involved. They will end up taking about half of what the advertiser pays for the ad.

How much can you make?

Depending on the type of ad, you can make just a few pennies per click. But it depends entirely on what your blog is about.

For a blog about attorneys, expect to make a couple of dollars every click. For a blog about finances, 50 cents to a dollar. For a celebrity blog? You’re lucky to get a few cents per click.

Email marketing

Email marketing is another perfect way to monetize your blog.

Having an email list is essential to being a successful blogger. The reason being that you don’t always want to fill up your blog with ads everywhere.

You should use your blog as a way to share your message, educate readers and have them get to know you. But your email list? That’s to sell baby, sell.

Why does email marketing work?

When someone gives you their email address, they are trusting you that you won’t spam them. Think about that, they are trusting you. Since they trust you, the products you personally recommend to them via email will mean a lot more than just a random ad seen on a blog.

How do I create a list?

Sign up for a free account with ConvertKit using this link. Doing so will unlock a free account for up to 500 subscribers.

How much can you make?

Aim to earn $1 per month for every email subscriber you have. This is most definitely possible if done right. This means you don’t spam them and you always offer something of value in each email.

Sell online courses

If you have vast knowledge on a particular subject, you can create a class and sell your course on your blog.

This concept is extremely popular because of Udemy. You can teach a class on photography for beginners, how to use Microsoft Excel or on graphic design.

In addition to offering your class for sale on Udemy, you can also market your class on your blog directly. You can create a series of 10 videos, each 15-30 minutes long.

Don’t just post these videos on Youtube, you are much more valuable than that. You can sell your course on your blog and make money teaching your skills with others.

You can set up a course on your blog using Thrive Apprentice or you can host it offsite with Teachable.

Sell digital products

Okay so if you are reading this, that means you probably have a blog already. You also probably have a lot of posts written up on whatever topic your blog is about.

What are you doing with all that old content? Is it just sitting there? Once your content has been posted, don’t let it sit there doing nothing. Here’s what you can do:

Take that content and turn it into an ebook.

Open up Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Apple’s Pages application. Look for your best content and then you can combine multiple posts into sections, let’s call them chapters. Add an introduction and conclusion to your book and voila, you’ve just created an ebook.

You can convert your text document into a pdf file and an ePub. You can then promote your ebook on your blog or even on Amazon.

The benefit of selling your own ebook is that you get to keep 100% of each sale.

Sell someone else’s ebook.

If you’re not confident enough to write or compile your own ebook, perhaps selling someone else’s ebook is better. Don’t bother using Amazon affiliate links to sell ebooks, as you’ll only get a paltry percentage of each sale.

Instead, go to Clickbank and promote ebooks from there. You can choose an ebook that sells really well, charges a good amount and gives you a large percentage of each sale. That way, all of the work is already done for you and you just need to promote it on your blog.

Sponsored posts

A great way to monetize your blog is to look for sponsored post opportunities.

There are companies out there who will not only send you a free product to try, but will also pay you to publish a review.

Right when a product launches (or even before), companies want to get a good buzz going about their product. That’s where you come in.

How much can you make?

Smart bloggers can earn anywhere from $100 up to $500 by reviewing products every month. The possibilities are endless however. There are some Youtube influencers making millions just dropping product names into their videos. The same goes for Instagram.

Why will they choose your blog?

If you have an influential blog along with a strong social media presence, you are quite the valuable asset to a company looking to sell a new product.

Companies will look for popular blogs by looking at several metrics:

  • Your traffic

Install Google Analytics to track how many visitors your blog gets daily. This is the number one thing that a company will look for when deciding whether your blog is right for their product. So get to creating and start building an audience.

  • Your social media reach

You may have a personal twitter and instagram account. But your blog needs one of its own. The earlier you get started the quicker you can build up your fanbase so get to it.

Companies are looking for bloggers who are “influencers” in their field. Aim to get 1,000 Twitter followers, once you get that, aim for 10,000 and never look back.

  • Your email subscribers list

Email subscribers. You must have an email newsletter if you are serious about blogging. Even if you don’t know what to write about, just create the list and don’t send anything.

It’s a valuable asset in your arsenal when it comes to pitching yourself to companies.

What’s the process?

Here’s how it works. Companies will send you a sample to review (or give you free access if it’s an online-only product). Then you are expected to use the product and write a detailed review including pictures and possibly video as well.

Then you publish your blog post and share it on all of your social media channels.

Where do I sign up?

Here’s a list of sites where you can register your blog to get paid for product testing.

Why do companies pay for this?

The company would hope that your blog post gets indexed in Google so when anybody Google’s this new product looking for reviews, your blog post shows up #1.

In the end, it’s a win-win for everybody. You get some free merch and a payment, the company gets the press they want and anybody doing research on the product gets to see a hands-on review.

Note: If you are going this route, be sure to add a disclaimer stating that you received the product free of charge, received payment and are giving your unbiased opinion about it.

Offer a service

Add a personal touch to your blog by offering a personalized one on one service.

You’re an expert on something, right? Even if you don’t know it, you are. Even if you don’t believe it, believe it. Even if it’s not true, fake it 'til you make it.

Providing consultancy services is a great way of monetizing your blog. By offering consultancy services, you can charge a fee to help your readers with issues they are having.

Here are some services you can offer on your blog.

  • Marketing help
  • Coaching / consulting
  • Freelance writing

Note: Don’t reveal the price of your services publicly. Your prices can change and the needs of each client are different. Also, you’ll get more messages by not disclosing the price up front.

5 reasons why your blog isn't making money

  • It's too hard to navigate

Easy navigation is vital to building a strong online customer base, so it should be the main priority of your website.

Your website needs to be extremely easy to use if you want to gain a lot of new customers.

People are very impatient when it comes to online shopping, so nobody wants to spend more than a few minutes trying to finding the information they need.

If someone is unable to find what they want in a few minutes, then they are going to move on to the next business.

  • Your blog design needs some work

The overall design of your website is the first thing everyone will notice when they visit for the first time.

A beautifully designed website is a great way to make a positive impression on consumers, but you can also drive them away with an ugly site.

You want your website to come off as clean and professional, so you need to limit the clutter and make everything very easy to read.

I recommend the Divi theme to have full control to create a clean easy-to-navigate style.

  • No mobile version

Smartphones are quickly replacing computers as the most popular way to access the internet. For my own sites they account for 50% of all traffic.?

The most popular WordPress themes all have mobile-ready versions:

- Astra
- Thrive Theme Builder
- Divi

  • Slow site speed

A website that isn't optimized for speed is going to struggle to make money.

Bounce rates increase with every second (source), so make sure your site loads fast.

Optimizing your images and removing un-used plugins are a good start. But to truly increase your page speed you need to switch to a faster host.

If you're budget-minded, try moving from Bluehost to SiteGround.

If you want your blog to load even faster, give WPXHosting a try.

Wrapping it up

Ready to monetize your blog? Hopefully this article has pointed you in the right direction.

But if you need help with monetizing your website, take a look at my "Six Figure Bloggers" blogging course here. It goes in-depth on how to get traffic and how to monetize your website.

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Edwin Contreras

Edwin Contreras is the money hacking millennial behind Cash The Checks. He lives a minimalist lifestyle and is always eager to learn and share his methods to save and make money.

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